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Camille Claudel at Nogent

It is rare for a world-renowned sculpture to enter in a small museum. This is the case of the masterwork Perseus and the Gorgon, Camille Claudel (1864-1943), received as a gift by the Municipal Museum Dubois-Boucher of Nogent-sur-Seine. This operation from AGF, who was the owner since 1983, could not be done with the help of seventeen companies, which have contributed 768 500 euros on a total of 950 000 euros. It is, for France, an "exemplary" sponsorship for a municipal museum of this size. The museum's collection already includes more than 400 sculptures from the late nineteenth century, including two by Camille Claudel: a study of the head Hamadryade and a copy of The Implorante small model. Above all, Camille Claudel lived in Nogent from 1876 to 1879. A famous artist, Alfred Boucher, revealed her and gave hem his first courses until 1882, in Paris, before she enters in the studio Rodin as a student, practitioner, model . It is also his mistress until 1893. The statue represents Perseus cut from the head of Medusa and watching his reflection in his shield bronze - now defunct - not to be petrified by his gaze. It is the only large marble (1.96 m high) by Camille Claudel. It represents an essential step in his artistic career. Conceived in 1897, it marked his break with Rodin and a return to classicism taught by Boucher. Besides, it gives its traits to Medusa: should see Rodin behind Perseus and the sudden awareness of its artistic death? This work would be his will, as its production is limited by the continued lack of inspiration, secondary works. Meanwhile, the city of Nogent decided on July 9, to buy the collection of Queen Marie Paris, granddaughter of Paul Claudel, which contains the largest set of Camille Claudel: 70 sculptures and 7 letters and photographs. An agreement was reached on the basis of 13.5 million euros, lower than the estimated value. Ms. Paris said that she hoped that this collection is presented in Nogent in memory of "happy years" that his great-aunt has passed. For the host, a museum will be housed in the house of the seventeenth century that the Claudel family lived from 1876 to 1879. Nogent intends to identify his assets around as Camille Claudel.

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